Whether you’re a history buff who’s been reading about the Vietnam War for years or you’re just starting to learn about it today, this DSST test provides a fantastic opportunity to learn a little history while earning some college credit.
As you probably already know, DSST can help you get college credits without going through a course in a traditional classroom setting. Thus in addition to saving you money, it can also save you time and boredom by allowing you to study at your own pace and in your own way. So prepare well and ace your DSST!
Before we get into the exam specifics, let me quickly share a study “formula” that’s worked well for me. I like to call it FORMULA ABC:
FORMULA A: Allot Your Time Wisely
Acknowledge your strengths and Allot your time wisely in reviewing for the subject.
You may have read and heard a lot about the History of Vietnam war, so what you need to do is to review what you know then try to learn a lot more. Remember that your sharpest tool in any examination is your knowledge of the subject.
FORMULA B: Breathe and Relax
Before, during, and after the exam, Breathe in to Relax your Body and Brain!
No matter how well you reviewed, or how long you prepared, you have to be physically and emotionally ready in your exam day. Be sure to GET READY!
Get a good sleep
Exercise and eat healthy
Read the questions carefully
Enjoy the experience
Accept the results
Do not quit
You have what it takes to get DSST college credit!
FORMULA C: Confidently Rely on Your Preparation
Convince yourself that you CAN ace your DSST exam! Formula C will give you the Confidence to take and pass your DSST. Never let any fear or insecurity bar you from improving yourself. Remember that you are worthy of the dream you work and hope for.
Now, let’s run through the twelve categories in the exam. The sub-topics are chronologically presented according to occurrence. You are advised to visualize the events while reading then relate what you know about each essential point provided.
The topic will cover everything about the geography, political and social culture and tradition of Vietnam. Be sure to take note of Pre-historic Vietnam where you will learn that red river valley geographic and economic units form the first Vietnamese States. The rule of dynastic epochs and the invasion and resistance to Chinese and French colonialism are sub-topics under this category.
FUN FACT: Vietnamese history includes myths, similar to many countries around the world. You will come across interesting stories about Vietnam’s origin according to their mythology.
These topics should excite you as they will bring you to the era where you will witness how the courage of war combatants lead us to experience a peaceful and free country today. The significant events are Japanese invasion after the fall of France in World War II, Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces control where Emperor Bao Dai try to regain power for France. Also take note of the Battle at Dien Bien Phu and how United States stepped up for military assistance to France against Viet Minh forces. Recall the American Domino Theory of Eisenhower and finally, the Geneva accords which provided the 17th parallel dividing North and South Vietnam.
FUN FACT: Vietnam War intensified with the events which transpire in World War II and Vietnam war agitated the Cold War.
This is the era where U.S. presence in Vietnam infuriate Ho Chi Minh and his communist group. Series of attacks between South and North Vietnam took place. Significant events are U.S. backing Ngo Dien Diem as leader of South Vietnam; Ho Chi Minh’s death and the founding of North Vietnamese National Liberation Front; U.S. recognition of Viet Cong; Buddhist crisis; and military coup replacing Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhum.
FUN FACT: You often hear about Viet Cong in History of Vietnam War. Do you know who they are? They are the Communist group who maintained domination of North Vietnam.
You will learn the difference of JFK’s leadership with his successor LBJ. North Vietnamese forces attack USS Maddox in Tonkin Gulf including Operation Flaming Dart and Operation Rolling Thunder are things you need to remember in this category.
Americanization and how it intensified the conflict including Westmoreland’s strategy of attrition, and Central Highlands Battle of Dak To are things you need to know. Americanization’s impact to Vietnamese society and the stabilization of Saigon regime should also be studied.
FUN FACT: Americanization of war a gradual process. The escalation began with the Gulf of Tonkin incident and continued by the stiff resistance of North forces.
Be sure you know that LBJ in his policies about Vietnam war lost support of the U.S. Congress and his constituents. Why? Find out by recalling Johnson’s Guns versus butter, the Credibility gap where U.S. Congress opposed U.S. involvement on war, how media influence in shaping American perception on Vietnam war, the latter’s effect on American Civil rights movement, the New Left and their Draft Resistance.
This is the largest military campaign of the North Vietnam forces that shocks U.S. Be familiar with the Objectives of Tet Offensive, the combined assault of Viet Minh and North Vietnam armies, Battles at Hue and Saigon and ARVN victory against Viet Cong. There is also a need to review events like the Mai Lai massacre which is a search-and-destroy operations and how the 1968 U.S. Presidential Elections where Richard Nixon won changed American involvement on war.
By the change of administration, U.S. involvement in war is modified. While LBJ wanted direct participation of U.S. forces, his successor Nixon wanted U.S. troop withdrawal. Never forget the role played by U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Kissinger, and Operation Menu. In Vietnamizing the war, Phoenix program and 1969 – 1971 Secret Negotiations took place. The Final North Vietnamese campaign Spring Offensive, Christmas Bombing, and signing of Paris Peace Accords are important events in this topic.
Learning the effects of Vietnam war to United States shall be your primary consideration in this topic. Included here are key terms such as Vietnam War Protest, Campus Unrest, Peace Activist and National Conventions for Peace, and the popular Pentagon Papers.
During the war, the geographic location of Cambodia and Laos make it impossible to resist participation in Vietnam war although they tried to remain neutral. Be sure that you know what Ho Chi Minh trail is, the Communist victory in the Laotian Civil War, and the role played by King Sahanouk, Marshal Lon Nol, Khmer Rouge or Cambodian communist in Vietnam war. Then, study about the Fall of Phnom Penh and U.S. Secret Bombing of Laos and Cambodia.
FUN FACT: Ho Chi Minh trail which passes through Cambodia and Laos were used by North Vietnam to infiltrate troops and supplies to South Vietnam.
Here, you will learn that promises are made to be broken. Yes, the peace agreement and ceasefire were violated. Refresh your mind on the Watergate Scandal, Nixon’s resignation, and succession of President Gerald Ford. Read how President Ford rules out U.S. military involvement on war, his administration’s War Powers Act and the Great Spring Offensive.
The Fall of Saigon ended the war. This last category is everything about the impact of Vietnam war on American foreign policy, its economy, and defense.
Correct Answer: Fall of Saigon
Explanation: The collapse of South Vietnamese prompted Communist to launch final offense to called “Ho Chi Minh campaign” to conquer the country. This puts an end to Vietnam war following the Fall of Saigon.
I. They aim to kill as many enemy troops as possible
II. They try to secure many territories
III. The policy involves a search and destroy operations of enemy units
IV. The policy involves a quest for resources to maintain forces
Correct Answer: I and III
Explanation: The policy of Attrition was a military strategy aimed at killing and destroying as many enemy troops as possible. The side with more remaining military and equipment win. It is opposed to other war strategies which goal is to conquest for resources and territories.
Correct Answer: Nguyen Sinh Cung
Explanation: Nguyen Sinh Cung is the original name of Ho Chi Minh. Yes, I knew you are familiar that Ho Chi Minh is the DRV's first President, but do you know his original name? Now you do. Most of the time, the choices will confuse you so know the process of elimination.Assuming you know Bao Dai was an emperor, Ngo Dinh Diem was Prime Minister of South Vietnam and Ton Duc Thang was the successor of Ho Cho Minh, it leaves you with Nguyen Sinh Cung.
Correct Answer: North Vietnam forces to advance further and be reinforce
Explanation: From the name, Paris Peace Accords you can derive that the agreement aims to put an end to Vietnam war. Hence, to advance further forces and to be reinforced will never be a provision under the Peace treaty.
Correct Answer: Operation Castor
Explanation: In 1953, Viet Minh forces attacked Lai Chu, capital of T'ai Federation which deliver opium to French. Seeing that its forces are weakening to defend Lai Chu, French Commander General Navarre launched Operation Castor on the broad valley of Dien Bien Phu. This battle in Dien Bien Phu settled the fate of French Indochina as its forces were mauled by Viet Minh.
Correct Answer: Political arm of Viet Cong
Explanation: The National Liberation Front served as political arm of the communist Viet Cong to put an end to Diem regime. Yes, NLF is not an army or combatants. And, no, this is not the National Football League in the USA.
Correct Answer: President Lyndon Johnson
Explanation: The question's challenge here is to recall when USS Maddox was sent. Remember that the vessel was sent for an intelligent mission following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. So the will be his successor President Lyndon Johnson.
Correct Answer: The coordinated surprise attack drove the final wedge in the unstable alliance between the South Vietnam and United States
Explanation: The massive surprise attack, Tet Offensive, by North Vietnamese was a turning point to the unstable alliance between U.S. and South Vietnam as Americans changed their perception on war drawing withdrawal of support to South Vietnam. Although the North was not successful in reacquiring territories and getting resources, it was a first step in changing the war.
Correct Answer: Vietnam was proclaimed a republic
Explanation: So use your visuals here, when do these events took place? Well, after the end monarchial regime in Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam was finally established. For this type of questions, your familiarity with the significant events will give you the right . Before World War II, Vietnam is under domination of the French. It falls on the hands of Japanese forces during the war but through the resistance of communist group founded by Ho Chi Minh, he freed the country from colonialism and proclaimed establishment of Republic of Vietnam.
Correct Answer: Vietnamization
Explanation: President Nixon in convincing that he is capable of ending Vietnam war imposes the policy of Vietnamization. This involve withdrawals of US troops while expanding, equipping, and training the South Vietnamese forces.
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